Energy News

Smokeless Biofuel Saves Lives in Africa

(3BL Media and Just Means) - When I make dinner tonight, I’ll walk over to my stove, turn a few knobs and be eating in twenty minutes or less. Easy, clean, safe and cheap. However, those four adjectives do not describe the way most people, women and children in particular, in developing nations experience cooking.

Getting Off the Grid: IKEA Leads the Way in Wind Energy

(3BL Media and Just Means)-The Windy City is about to get windier. And hopefully, less reliant on fossil fuels.  IKEA recently announced their purchase of Hoopeston Wind, a wind farm of 49 wind turbines near Hoopeston in Vermilion County, two hours south of Chicago.  The purchase is the first wind power investment IKEA has made in the USA and their largest renewable energy project ever.

Coca Cola is the David that the Slingshot Needs.

"The Slingshot is the little tool that David needs to defeat Goliath"—Dean Kamen.

Florida’s Untapped Solar Power

(3BL Media/Just Means) I've spent the summer living in historic St. Augustine, Florida. The surf is great, the people are friendly and the sun shines brightly every single day. The sun is powerful here, powerful enough it seems to produce enough solar energy for most of the nation.

Is the Fracking Boom Really Just a Bubble?

(3BL/Justmeans Media) - The explosion of domestically produced oil and gas through fracking has produced tremors both in the ground surrounding a number of wells as well as in the economy. Suddenly, the whole energy picture has been turned on its head. Instead of an energy importer, we’ve became an energy exporter.

Oil and gas production are both up by double-digits compared to a decade ago. Fears of running out of oil have been replaced by fears of a production glut. We may soon have more oil than we need. This will do little to encourage developers to slow down, despite the numerous concerns that have been raised about the safety and environmental impact of this form of resource extraction, not to mention climate change.

Instead development is going full speed ahead for a number of reasons, including:

  1. Replacement of natural gas for coal as a carbon reduction strategy
  2. Post-Fukushima move away from nuclear
  3. Geopolitical shift to raise America as an energy power relative to OPEC and Russia
  4. Dreams of a lucrative LNG export market
  5. Resurgence of American manufacturing based on low cost energy.
  6. A return to the belief that we will never run out of oil

A recent post by questions the extent to which these claims are based in reality and how much is simply wishful thinking. IS this really the beginning of a new petroleum era, or is a desperate last gasp by the oil industry, an attempt to retain their pre-eminent position in the world economy?

Notice that there is no mention here of climate change. The idea that gas is cleaner than coal—which is true—seems to be enough to satisfy many people that we are doing something despite the fact that, while helpful, it is far from sufficient to reverse the rising levels of atmospheric carbon.

Despite the chronically over-optimistic forecast of the DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the folks at Post Carbon Institute (PCI) decided to take a look at the data themselves to see if they came to the same conclusion. This, after the EIA, in 2011, responding to United States Geological Survey (USGS) numbers, cut its estimate of recoverable shale gas in the Marcellus field by 80% and Poland by 99%.

That was followed by another downward revision by EIA, of the amount of recoverable tight oil in California’s Monterey Formation, by 96%.

It’s worth asking the question, are we being played?

Vestergaard To Reach 125,000 Kenyan Children with "Follow the Liters" Program

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Western Kenya is a huge agricultural region, with equatorial temperatures and ample rain. Sugar and tea are both grown commercially, along with corn, sorghum and millet. Many fruits and vegetables are also grown and sold  in market stalls along the roadside and in town The two rainy seasons are a boon to farmers, to be sure, but they come with a price.


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